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High-impact regional opioid symposiums on deck for rural Indiana

June 13, 2018

High-impact regional opioid symposiums on deck for rural Indiana; healthcare, state, federal, county, addiction officials to address crisis

Indiana Rural Health Association, AgrIInstitute to host regional meetings to help combat, find solutions for continuing addiction emergency

TERRE HAUTE, Indiana – Drawing on experts in multiple disciplines from national, state and local levels, the Indiana Rural Health Association (IRHA) and AgrIInstitute will jointly host four regional high-impact opioid crisis symposiums in rural Indiana areas during July and August.

“This ongoing crisis continues to savagely and relentlessly penetrate every aspect of society in Indiana, including rural areas” said Don Kelso, IRHA executive director. “Professionals have come together from many disciplines to address this opioid health emergency, and we want to ensure that all Hoosiers have access to critical information and resources at all levels.”

“The intense attention being given to the opioid addiction crisis has helped many of us become better informed and more knowledgeable,” said Beth Archer, AgrIInstitute executive director. Emphasizing that this crisis “knows no boundaries,” Archer continued: “An important step in resolving this crisis is becoming better informed citizens – that means becoming better informed about what each of us can do in our homes, in our communities, in our workplaces, in our churches, and elsewhere, so healthy living can again be possible for those whom we care about.”

The four symposiums are now scheduled for July 10 at the White County Fairgrounds near Reynolds, July 26 at the Heartland REMC facilities in Wabash; July 31 in Daviess County (Eastside Park in Washington); and August 2 at the C Bar C Expo Center in Putnam County (Cloverdale off I-70).

Key leaders and regional professionals involved in addressing the crisis will take part, including Jim McClelland, Indiana State Executive Director for Drug Prevention, Treatment and Enforcement (who also chairs the Indiana Commission to Combat Drug Abuse); Michael Dora, USDA State Director for Indiana; Boone County Sheriff Mike Neilson; Amnah Anwar, program director of the Indiana Rural Opioid Consortium (IROC); officials from the Dearborn County Jail Chemical Addiction Program (JCAP); and other professionals and social workers.

Kelso noted that Archer and AgrIInstitute organized and was the catalyst that produced a “very successful” symposium in Boone County about the statewide opioid crisis earlier this year that was “standing room only.” That January symposium was supported by IRHA and others. This summer, AgrIInstitute and IRHA partnered together to extend the availability of this information and program resources to other areas of the state.

“There is no single solution to this pervasive crisis, but many offer hope” said Deena Dodd, IRHA Network Development Officer and an organizer of the opioid symposiums. “We collectively want to serve as a catalyst for strategic discussion and conversation between service providers, expert resources, law enforcement officials, healthcare professionals to help move us toward implementing targeted solutions and find resolution for this terrible ongoing tragedy.”

While the four events are open to the public, IRHA and AgrIInstitute officials specifically invite the participation of elected county officials, civic leaders, medical professionals, educators, agri-industry executives, members and leaders of faith-based organizations, and business leaders to attend. Each symposium will have morning and afternoon presentations and discussions, and a catered lunch from a local vendor will be served. A registration fee of $30 is being collected to cover the costs of materials and the lunch.

More information and a registration link are available here.


About AgrIInstitute

AgrIInstitute prepares leaders to advance agriculture and serve the industries related communities. AgrIInstitute serves a robust network of agriculture and rural leaders through leadership development and meaningful dialogue on matters that enhances the capacity of the industry’s most important asset — People. Programming to support leadership and communication about important agriculture and rural community topics is at the core of all AgrIInstitute initiatives. A cornerstone of the AgrIInstitute programming is the Indiana Agricultural Leadership Program (ALP). For more information, visit http://www.agriinstitute.org/

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